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‘Runescape’ – Returning to the Realm



If you were born in the 90s and were blessed with access to a computer, and of course the wondrous world of the internet, it’s highly probable that you dabbled in Runescape on at least one occasion. Thousands upon thousands of millennials spent countless hours in the realm – murdering anything from chickens to demons, fishing and chopping wood with a passion, roaming the streets of fine cities such as Lumbridge, or living it up at the Grand Exchange, in the style of a legitimate stockbroker.

The first incarnation of Runescape was released all the way back in 2001. This was a highly innovative game for the time, serving as many gamers first introduction to the magical world of MMORPGs. Impressively enough, Runescape is still as active as ever in 2017, a full 16 years after its initial release. However, obviously enough, the game engine has been updated regularly since its inception. Thus, the current version of the game is called Runescape 3, and even if this particular game client is still going strong, developer Jagex has been kind enough to have the two previous incarnations of the game remain playable to those who are interested in experiencing a surge of nostalgia.

Which brings me to the main topic of this article – Runescape 2, aka Old School Runescape. Most millennials who grew up playing the game will surely be most familiar with this particular installation, as it was the current version of the game during the era in which the 90s kids were collectively obsessed with the game. Now when I say obsessed, I am not using this term lightly. A plethora of teenagers in the mid/late-2000’s would sink an insane amount of time and money into Runescape, often spending hours trying to amass experience points for different skills, of which there are 24 in Old School Runescape. Perhaps this sounds like a bit too much for one game, but the wide variety of skills and quests certainly kept players entertained for long periods of time.

Trends do however tend to fade into obscurity, as was the case with Runescape. In 2013, Jagex released the new and updated Runescape 3, an improved version of the game client. This new version led to many fans of the previous installment feeling like the sudden wave of changes made to the game were a bit too much, and thus they abandoned the realm of Runescape.

Years passed however, and old players started returning to the realm. As I mentioned before, the developers of the game have let the older versions of the game remain playable in their own respective clients. So, in the later years, whether it be nostalgia or simply curiosity to see how Old School Runescape holds up in 2017, the game managed to make a comeback. As of now, tens of thousands of people are regularly online in the game, rediscovering the joys of questing with friends or simply chopping down trees for half a day.

I know this sensation particularly well, as I too have been gradually returning to Old School Runescape lately. When you look at Jagex as a company, it’s rather obvious that they would be fine without leaving the previous incarnations of the game running plainly as fan service, but they choose to do so anyway and for this, on behalf of everyone who has had good memories with their game in the past, or is still having fun with it, I thank them.

Johnny Pedersen is a writer, a musician, and an avid gamer. He currently resides in Norway, where he is working on his GE. He is a dedicated Nintendo-fanboy, and spends excessively much time tinkering with old gaming consoles, when he should be doing something useful with his life.